Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 149, Issue 6, pp 521–526 | Cite as

Differences in lipid composition between free-living and initially adhered cells of a Gram-negative bacterium

  • Anders Valeur
  • Anders Tunlid
  • Göran Odham
Original Papers


The phospholipid fatty acid composition and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) content of initially adhered and free-living cells of a Pseudomonas sp. isolated from the rape plant Brassica napus were examined with gas chromatography (GC). Five different adhesion experiments were made including variations in surface charge (hydrophilic and lipophilic), temperature, media composition and time of adhesion. Lipids and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) were extracted with a chloroform-methanol-water mixture, hydrolyzed and esterified with pentafluorobenzyl bromide. Analysis was performed with capillary gas chromatography and flame ionization detection. A pronounced difference in both the ratio saturated/unsaturated fatty acids and in PHB content between free-living and adhered bacteria were found. The free-living bacteria has a significantly smaller ratio of saturated/unsaturated C16 and C18 fatty acids and also a smaller ratio of total C18/total C16 fatty acids. Bacteria adhered to the lipophilic surface had a higher ratio of saturated to unsaturated C16 fatty acids than at the hydrophilic surface. There were no major differences between the treatments regarding the amount of bacteria adhered to the surface or their lipid composition.

Key words

Bacterial membrane Fatty acid ratios Adhesion Capillary gas chromatography Subpopulation Pseudomonas 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Valeur
    • 1
  • Anders Tunlid
    • 1
  • Göran Odham
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecological ChemistryLund UniversityLundSweden

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